Koukash Super League battle heats up

Salford owner Marwan Koukash is seeking to force a vote of no confidence in the Rugby Football League after branding leading officials “not fit for purpose”.

The wealthy racehorse owner, whose club was recently docked six points after being found guilty of breaching the Super League salary cap, is lobbying fellow chairmen to back his call for a special general meeting to bring the governing body to book.

Koukash has endured a running battle with the RFL throughout his four years in charge of the Red Devils and promised all-out war with the governing body when his club were first accused of breaking the salary cap in March.

However, Koukash says his latest action is not connected with his attempts to overthrow a points deduction – he intends to unveil his plans for that at a press conference at the AJ Bell Stadium on Wednesday – but represents an accumulation of dissatisfaction over what he believes is a lack of leadership at the heart of the game’s administration.

“I am in talks with a number of other chairmen to set up a meeting to bring a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the RFL,” Koukash told Press Association Sport. “They are not fit for purpose.

“We invest millions into rugby league and want what is the best for the sport.

“I have been in the sport for four years and commercially the game has gone backwards in that time.”

The RFL responded to Koukash’s comments, insisting the game is in a stronger financial position than it was two years ago and that the governing body is always willing to listen to the clubs.

In a statement, an RFL spokesperson said: “As an organisation, we are here to work for the clubs and all those with an interest in rugby league.

“Our governance ensures that there is an established democratic process that a club can follow to make their voice heard and we will always listen to what they have to say.

“Whilst we will continue to work hard to improve the fortunes of all clubs, a recent independent benchmarking report has demonstrated that, as a sport, we are generally in a stronger financial state than we were two years ago.

Koukash, an arch critic of the salary cap, believes Super League is falling so far behind the NRL that it is in danger of becoming a feeder competition.

Last year he won a vote to introduce a marquee player exemption but he says the gap will widen further with the impact of a new television deal in Australia which will result in another significant increase in the NRL salary cap.

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